Update to The Numbers

When last we met, we learned our hero, who spent the first part of 2016 behaving quite badly, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Click the link for more info. I have been to the doctor for my first quarterly follow-up.

Updating and Changes

The number we are most concerned with here, at least for now, is the A1C. Again, that is the average over 2-3 months of what my blood glucose levels were. For this second visit, about 3 months after my first, I would have been ecstatic with a single digit number. 9.9 would have been good. For reference, anything below a 5.7 is considered normal,

Mine came back with a 6.0

Since I’m tooting my own, lets look at the cholesterol numbers too. At my first visit I was at a 201. Doc said he wanted to see some improvement there. 200 is considered high.

I brought back a 157.

Doctor tells me this is usually a very disappointing visit for most people that are newly diagnosed, explaining that sometimes folks not see any improvement and sometimes even see increases. He was pleased with my results. I have to admit, so was I.

What changed you might be asking. I dropped pasta from my diet for the most part, and potatoes. I didn’t exercise any more than normal and, if anything, I exercised less. But the kicker? The 1 thing that really, really, REALLY made a difference?

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said:

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

So, here is the thing about that. As it turns out, beer, consumed at the rate I was drinking it (about 4 pints per weekend), is bad. During the past 3 months, the biggest change in my diet was cutting back on my beer and adult beverage intake. Oh sure, I still enjoy a beer here and there, but not this weekend. Maybe not next weekend either. I keep an eye on the numbers and if I’m doing ok, then a beer or two at lunch on a Saturday is ok by me and I usually recover just like normal people do by dinner.

I’m back once again for a quarterly check in February. If the numbers stay the same (or improve), I’ll get promoted to the bi-annual schedule instead. From what I gathered, that is kind of a big deal, especially with someone that was recently diagnosed with the ‘ol Type 2.

My next goal, if it is even possible, is to manage this without having to take any medication. I’m currently taking 2,000mg of Metformin, which, as best as I can tell, is like an insulin booster, helping my body use the extra glucose my liver keeps making. I’m no doctor, but I still think part of the problem is that my liver didn’t get the “we lost 100lbs” memo, so is still cranking out the glucose, like the boss, for a fat guy. It might stop, it might not. I’m really hoping for the former, but with my family history, I won’t be too disappointed if it is the later.

I’m going to keep on keepin’ on with how I’m doing it. I am still trying to get back on track with my exercise and have been having difficulty meeting my 50 miles per week bicycling goal. I’m on track to hit it this week for the first time in at least a month. I’m going to also make a solid effort to get to the gym at least once per week, twice if possible, to continue my strength training. I still have goals that aren’t medically related that I’m having difficulty attaining. Because I’m still typing, the one goal that has eluded me the longest is weight related. I’ve been at 207 – 209 for the last year and change, seeing 205 for a week once. I really want that range to be 200 – 203.

Thanks for playing!

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Who Rides for Science?

If you have been following me on Strava or Facebook recently,you might see something like “Riding for science. -36” on a recent post. While not really science, it is to me, since I’m keeping track of how my cycling affects my blood sugar levels.

Yes. Blood sugar levels.

Why would I need to do that you might ask? I’m pretty fit, exercise regularly, appear to eat well and all that, right? That’s what I thought too.

My year started off badly and included making bad choices. Drinking too much, eating poorly, smoking and not exercising regularly. I was also experiencing more stress at work than usual. So, like I said, year started off badly. I am back on track, but that doesn’t change what has already happened. Add to this the fact that, not terribly long ago, I was not pretty fit, did not exercise regularly and weighed 100-ish pounds more than I do today.

Back in May I started feeling a tingling sensation in my feet and hands, along with numbing. I had a feeling I knew what was going wrong and took way to long to see the doctor about it. When I finally made it to the doctor, a check of my blood sugar without fasting pegged the device at close to 350. For reference, normal is between 90 – 100 (110 – 120 after eating). I was started immediately on 2 medications; 1 to help lower my blood sugar, the other, an anti-depressant, to help with my feet. Continue reading →

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Stuff Chiles

This one I stole from a local restaurant. Of course, I am pretty sure mine is better. The combination of the sweet potato and spicy, smoked chile was amazing.

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 pastilla peppers. Anaheims if you want them to be less spicy.
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1 tbls butter
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 dashes tabasco
  • Grated cheese

Roast the peppers on the BBQ for 5 minutes per side, or until fully charred all around. Once roasted, let steam in a paper bag for 10 minutes. Peel, split and seed, removing the stems.

Microwave the potato until soft enough to mash, about 8 minutes. You can also boil or steam, whichever works best for you. Mash with olive oil until a smooth consistency is reached, add spices and butter, mix to combine.

Add about 1/2 cup of potato to each pepper, or however much it takes to fill. Top with about 1/4 grated cheese and wrap. Cook in a 350 degree over for 7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

I did not sauce this in anyway, but some crema would have been nice. In a pinch, some sour cream thinned with a little bit of lemon or lime juice would have worked nicely as well. If fresh avocado is an option, it’s a very nice addition to the plate.

Perfect alone. Serve with a salad or a side of beans to fill up the plate. Add a cold beverage (beer, white wine) and you have an amazing meal!

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Ride Bikes Radio

Most of you have been playing the Don Burnside home game. Because of this, you also know that I re-discovered riding bikes. They are all over my social media and over here on my side of the screen, I’ll talk about bicycles to anyone that will listen.

So I have decided to put this excitement to good use.

I have been wanting to add additional shows under the White Roof for a while. Not looking to build up a full blown network, yet. Just another show or two. A bunch of people have been telling me that a bicycle podcast is what we needed, so a bicycle podcast is what I have created!

Ride Bikes Radio is the name, bicycling is our game. With my pal Brian Dallas, who has spent his entire life in and around bicycles, we talk every week about topics that would interest the normal, everyday cyclist. We aren’t talking about million dollar carbon bikes or the latest racing results, no sir! We are discussing safety, maintenance tips, community news & events. Oh, and beer. Do not forget the beer.

Our fourth episode just went out and I’m really please with the direction the show is taking. If you like riding bicycles for any reason, you should check us out. The latest episode is below and you can also find us where finer podcasts are served.

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Recipe: Macaroni & Tomato

One of the favorite lunches Mom used to make when we were kids. It’s a perfect storm of noodles, butter, tomato and pepper. Always warms the soul and is cheap and easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1lb macaroni (elbow or shells work best)
  • 1 28oz can whole tomatoes, chopped
    • I use scissors in the can for this, but do what you like
  • 1 15oz can of pinto or black beans
  • 1/2 stick of butter. Yes, butter. Don’t use margarine you animal.
  • Fresh cracked pepper. A lot.

Preparation

  • Boil your noodles. Drain
  • In the same pain (because we are lazy), add your tomatoes with the juice
  • Add the beans
  • Bring to a boil to let the juice evaporate a bit. Give it about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter.
  • Remove from heat, serve with pepper on top

You can add cheese or garlic if you want. Or any spices. You’ll notice I didn’t include salt in the recipe because I know you salt your pasta water and with the butter you just don’t need it. But, if you think you do, go ahead and add some.